“I followed the mob and behaved like a donkey,” one of those released Wednesday said after three weeks of custodial remand.

Hundreds of angry supporters broke into Marseille’s training ground late last month and caused widespread damage in what the Ligue 1 club called a terrifying frenzy of violence as protests against the club leadership and poor recent results.

Two of the charged were acquitted, eleven got the six-month suspended sentence and a twelfth, who had a theft charge pending, was sent to jail for three months.

The accused were all men and aged between 19 and 37, who hailed from all over France.

The defence lawyer said that the aligned accused were more of a “class photo of imbeciles, not the big fish ultras”.

Prosectors had asked for much harsher sentences for those involved in the acts of destruction that caused over 80,000 euros ($97,352) of damage and the men released appeared relieved.

Marseille’s American owner Frank McCourt strongly condemned what he descried as “thugs” who attacked the club’s training ground, comparing the violent protest to the deadly January 6 assault on the US Congress.

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